OK quick update since I didn’t write about week 5 and I think I missed something that happened in week 4.
Well here’s the gossip on week 4. On arriving at the course provider place we were told that we might have to be sent home. Eh NO! The reason for this was that the previous night all the computers in the place had been replaced and nobody from their IT department had left the passwords so that we could sign in. Eventually after the ‘tutor’ had made several phone calls we had passwords. YAY! you might think, but no some of them didn’t work. So eventually about an hour after we had all arrived we were all logged into lovely new computers with new Operating Software – Windows 7 we were told. The ‘tutor’ didn’t really know how to use the new OS so it was a case of helping each other out if we got stuck. I wasn’t sure about the new software being Windows 7 though and it wasn’t until one of the girls went to log out and couldn’t find the start button that we realised it wasn’t Windows 7 but Windows 8.
So onto week 5 and bear in mind that the new computers and software have been up and running for a week now, so all should be running smoothly. Think again! This time most of us did manage to log into the computers first time, so that was a bonus. Well after some searching for jobs I found one that sounded good, only thing was it wasn’t an online application so I was going to have to fill in a good old fashioned application form. So I attempted to print the form off but was having no luck. Tried again by sending it to another printer. Nope, still no luck. Turns out that none of the computers were actually connected to the network printer. So bang went the idea of printing out the form there and I had to do it at home. Oh and on week 5 there was another group of people started, so while my group were using the computers, the ‘tutor’ was busy explaining how things worked to the other group.
And onto week 6. Final week, enter the room thinking we are going to be doing some job stuff and probably filling in our exit forms. Well nope, didn’t happen. Enter room to find all of the new people from last week there to. Well it turned out all we were there for was to fill out our exit forms to say what we had done and what we would do next to help us gain employment. He did go over a little bit about CVs so maybe I can say I did learn something. Not much mind you, but he did try to slip in a little bit of learning, even if it was in the last 10 minutes. Oh and guess what? There were about 12 people in the new group all trying to use the computers which have now been up and running for 3 weeks. Yes you’ve guessed it, they still were not working properly. Out of about 14 computers only 7 of them were working. The login details were not working on most of them, not sure if they were now connected to the printer though. This is a company who the Government have probably paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to provide a service to aid jobseekers find employment. Yes they have managed to purchase wonderful new computers but it would have been great if they had worked properly or even if the person supposed to be helping us knew how to work the new system. I am hoping that I won’t be placed on anymore ‘courses’ with this company but knowing my luck I probably will get placed on their CV course.
Ok so 6 weeks on this course and did I get anything from it? Well to answer that, NO I did not.
I did meet up with some people I hadn’t seen for a long time, so that was good, but probably not the point of the course.
I learned that you can be sanctioned for really stupid reasons and met people who had been, but once again not the point of the course.
I did learn that new computers and an IT Department don’t mean that computers will work.
I also learned that when you have a prearranged telephone call with the Job Centre that it is classed as an appointment and that if you miss the call then you will be sanctioned.
So in all did I enjoy my time there? Well other than the fact that I met some lovely people, my answer to that is not really. I would have much preferred to have spent my time learning something that will help me find employment. I already have access to a computer and the internet, I already job search at home, so why place me on a course that is just giving me the same resources that I already have. There are still many people out there who have no access at home to the internet or a computer, my space on this course would have been much better use to them.
Also another snippet of information that I picked up was this – If you cannot afford to stay in your home and give it up to go live in a friend’s spare bedroom. If your friend works, your benefit will be stopped as they say your friend can ‘keep’ you. The person in question is male and his friend is female (with a boyfriend), so I presumed it was because DWP thought they were a couple but he said he asked this and was told that if the friend was male they would still presume they were living as a couple. So now because this guy is trying to sort himself out financially he is now living without any benefits. You can’t win when it comes to the benefit system.